A manufacturing facility will produce 1,000 pivot irrigation devices annually thanks to a partnership between US-based Valmont Industries and Yerkin Tatishev of Kusto Group.
Tatishev, the founder and chairman of Kusto Group, has put his heart into unlocking Kazakhstan’s agriculture potential. As a result of a new partnership between Kusto Group, Kazakhstan’s government, and Valmont Industries, the country is poised to become one of the world’s largest food producers.
The agreement calls for Kazakhstan to construct a factory that can produce 1,000 pivot irrigation machines each year.
As part of the agreement, a network of farms will be equipped with innovative irrigation systems. In addition, a training program will be implemented for local farmers.
Yerkin Tatishev emphasizes the urgency to act now or rivers will disappear
Farmers must be educated about how to responsibly manage water, notes Yerkin Tatishev. The future of Kazakhstan’s agriculture depends on this.
” Water stress is a growing issue in Kazakhstan, according to the UN. The water we use comes from Central Asia and China; we are very dependent on our neighbors. We also face a high risk of drought due to the great distance from the seas and irregular precipitation,” he says.
” About 2-3% of the water in the Syr Darya and the Amu Darya rivers is lost yearly. This is scary. Imagine, some 30 years will pass, and if nothing changes, then these rivers will simply disappear. Therefore, the issue must be resolved urgently,” Yerkin Tatishev stresses.
Developing innovative solutions with an industry pioneer
According to him, it has become impossible to rely solely on native water sources because of global warming. In light of this, the collaboration with Valmont Industries, a pioneer in the mechanical irrigation industry, represents a significant step forward.
As far as Tatishev is concerned, they know how to preserve natural water and store and distribute it properly. ” Thus, getting a player of this quality to Kazakhstan was crucial.”
Agribusiness relies heavily on crop production. For any crop to be successful, water is essential.
“Given our geography and history, we are better off moving on to the next stage rather than selling crop products. By converting feed into protein, and by engaging in animal husbandry, for example,” Yerkin Tatishev states. ” In order to achieve this, we need sources of irrigation water that are reliable and of high quality.”
More than a business partner to Kusto Group
For Yerkin Tatishev and Kusto Group, a business collaboration is seen as an opportunity for long-term growth.
Over the years, Valmont Industries has partnered with Kusto Group on other projects. Kazakhstan’s prospective irrigation program was only a matter of time.
According to Tatishev, Valmont Industries goes beyond business. Additionally, they are among the industry’s leaders. By collaborating, the two companies will help the country and its farmers manage their lands and water resources more effectively.
Kazakhstan will receive around 500 of the 1,000 pivot irrigation machines produced annually at the joint factory when it is inaugurated. In addition to West China, eastern Europe will receive the remainder.
A rise in crop production will be attributed to machines
As a result of the new machines, current water usage can be reduced by 50-75%. Those savings can be used to conserve water or increase irrigated areas.
By adding 400-500 new pivot irrigation machines a year, Kazakhstan’s crop production will increase by $100-200 million per year, according to Yerkin Tatishev’s estimate.
” In terms of export beef, for example, the cost of these products would increase by $300-450 million per year if they are used as feed for animals. The numbers can be safely multiplied by two or three if the meat is processed into sausages or other meat products,” Tatishev explains.
Pivot irrigation machines typically have a three- to five-year return on investment and last 20 to 30 years on average.
Farmers receive financial support from the government
Kazakhstan’s Almaty region will be the site of the new irrigation device plant, according to Kusto Group’s CEO Yerkin Tatishev.
It is expected that production will begin at the plant on January 1st, 2025. No precise location has been determined for the manufacturing facility yet.
” Within 30 months of receiving the land and formalizing it, we plan to launch the factory,” says Tatishev.
His emphasis is on the crucial role that the Kazakhstani government plays.
“It is necessary to recognize the efforts of the government, the Ministry of National Economy, and the Ministry of Agriculture. Our government supports us by promising economic benefits for farmers and by guaranteeing to pay for their installation costs,” he explains.
” Costs associated with establishing infrastructure in fields are borne by the state,” adds Tatishev. ” Businesses will not take on these very large projects, which can only be handled by the government. Therefore, we needed a third party in our agreement with the Americans; a state that manages the country’s water resources”.